In our latest Dezeen x MINI Living movie, architect Sam Jacob and Corinna Natter of MINI Living explain how micro homes, like the one they presented during London Design Festival, could one day function as shared resources.
The Urban Cabin is a 15-square-metre modular unit, created by MINI Living to explore ways that cities might be occupied in the future.
The brand presented the design for the first time during London Design Festival. Working with London-based architect Sam Jacob, it added a kitchen and a library to the tiny building.
Jacob says that the aim of the project is to explore how to create compact but comfortable shared living spaces as cities become more and more crowded and expensive.
"This project is a very close collaboration between MINI Living and me," he says in the movie, which Dezeen filmed at London Design Festival.
"It's about thinking through the possibilities of what it might mean to live in the near future – how we might begin to merge the public and the private, and how forms of domesticity might begin to evolve into forms that you don't quite recognise."
The kitchen Jacob designed features an expandable table, which can extend both within and outside the cabin.
"We have a kitchen that grows, so the more people you have around the bigger it gets," he explains.
"It's somewhere you can shelter inside, or on those very rare occasions where the sun does shine, you can pull it outside and begin dining al fresco."
Jacob also attached a tiny library to one side of the cabin, as a reaction to the closure of many public libraries throughout the UK capital in recent years.
"We thought a library would be a great addition to the cabin," he says. "It recalls the literary culture of the city."
The structure of the library is made from a range of materials stacked on top of each other like a pile of books.
"It's more geological and heavier at the bottom and becomes more processed, synthetic and manmade towards the top, " Jacob says. "It's as if you had taken a core through the archeology of the city."
Since London Design Festival, MINI Living has created another Urban Cabin installation in New York and plans to build more structures around the world, working with a local architect in each city.
MINI Living experience designer Corinna Natter, who worked together with Jacob on the project, says the idea is to create a "global village" of spaces for the increasing numbers of people who live and work nomadically, rather than settling in one place.
"People are travelling more and more nowadays so they have kind of a home in every city," she says.
"That is why we want to create a global village of urban cabins, where people can experience what is really specific about cities and the places they are living in."
This movie was filmed in London by Dezeen for MINI Living as part of our Dezeen x MINI Living Initiative, a year-long project exploring how architecture and design can contribute to a brighter urban future, through a series of videos and talks.
Photography is courtesy of MINI Living.